A 26-year-old North Carolina man using a sound device which imitates a coyote call was shot and killed by a nearby homeowner who mistook the sound for a coyote, on Monday, Feb. 19, WSOC reported, citing officials.
Michael Seth Marsh, a pastor at a local church and a father of two, was in a wooded area north of Taylorsville when the owner of a nearby home shot him with an AR-15 rifle, deputies say. Marsh turned on an electronic coyote caller and set it on the ground near a tree. At around 5:50 p.m. a neighbor heard the calls and fired twice thinking a coyote was there, Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Both rounds struck Marsh in the chest.
The neighbor, who knew Marsh, called 911 and immediately and administered medical aid. Marsh died at 8 p.m. being rushed to a hospital in Wilkes County.
According to Alexander County officials, Marsh was wearing camouflage when he was shot. He was also wearing an orange hat, but the hood of a sweatshirt was over it. He was armed with a shotgun and a rifle.
Authorities seized the neighbor’s weapon. Investigators arrived on the scene on Tuesday with metal detectors to search the area for clues.
Officials said that the tragedy is a reminder about the seriousness of gun safety.
“Whenever you point a weapon and pull that trigger, know where that bullet is going before you aim and shoot,” Sheriff Chris Bowman told WSOC.
“We’re looking at, ‘Did the suspect identify the target, or did he just shoot at movement?'” Chad Starbuck, with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, told WSOC.
This was the weapon used in the shooting in Alexander county. pic.twitter.com/cGmMLBuExU
— Dave Faherty (@FahertyWSOC9) February 20, 2018
Marsh is survived by his wife and two children. He was a pastor at the Russell Gap Baptist Church, Winston-Salem Journal reported.
“It’s sad to say that he will not see his little boy play sports or get to see his daughter walk down the aisle one day,” church member Coy Pearson told WSOC.
The investigation should be completed on Wednesday and a district attorney will decide if any charges should be filed, deputies say.